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Tracking Medical Device Recalls – Sounds Like A Good Place for a Microsoft Tag Data Base at the FDA

Posted Oct 06 2009 10:01pm

This is a fairly simple answer that could keep a tags listed  in a data base that anyone could access as we are not talking about confidential information here, we are talking about a device.  The great thing about Microsoft Tags is that you can go online, find the tag and as long as you have image the free software on a cell phone, you can get the information.  Hold the cellphone right up to your computer screen and get the information.   From a prior post:

Windows Tags – Bar Coding Information Made Easy from your Cell Phone

I try to include some useful software information when I can and this is one that you can use and have some fun with.  I have included a tag for the Medical Quack here where it states “snap it”. 

You will need to download software for your phone, and install, and it is pretty straight forward and simple.  Open the program, line up your camera on the phone, hit the enter button on your phone.  The cell phone will see the tag and take care of business, depending on what type of a tag is being captured.  You can also read up on how to create your own tag as well. 


Somebody would need to keep up with updates and revising the tag if an item were recalled, so keeping a tag online only and not on the product it would be updated with recall information or any other relative information that would be needed.  This sounds pretty simple to me, find the medical device from a data base with it’s associated tag and take the cell phone and “ shoot”, all the information from the tag.  It is displayed and nobody has had to go out and buy any special bar coding hardware and there’s no mailing lists on paper needed, all paperless and up to date.

Again, when the information from the device is displayed on the cell phone, any recall announcements relative to the product would show up as the tag is updated.  Simple enough.  This video shows other uses of Microsoft Tag outside of a computer screen.  Even General Mills is using them on their food products today too. 

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Tracking a device once it has been implanted though is a bit more of a task and perhaps down the road we will have answers in that area as well.  Windows Tag can offer consumers information too as the could also use a phone and look up a device and perhaps they might find the recall before the doctor would.  Again, with an open data base where anyone could search, it would certainly help and even if you had a device that had been recalled and knew what device you have inside, you could look it up, all you would need is a Smart Phone, BlackBerry, etc.  MedicalQuackTag

This story below about implanting a device that had been recalled could have been checked against a product tag online before surgery.  Once a data base has been established with tags, which is pretty easy to do, perhaps an alert system could also be added so anyone could take note of new arrivals.  I have a feeling this would be pretty popular with both patients, doctors and hospitals.  Somebody if not one of the individuals involved will read up and figure this little simple process.  Keep in mind all information stored in a tag is public so don’t put anything in a tag that is not for public viewing.  Perhaps the FDA will seriously entertain this one instead of the old printed paper methodologies.  BD 

Last October, a surgeon in Brooklyn used one of the clips to tie off Michael King's renal artery when he donated a kidney to his ailing wife. Twelve hours later, the clip popped off. King bled to death internally in the hospital as his wife lay helplessly nearby. He was 29.

Experts say such deaths are the result of a major weakness in the nation's system for recalling thousands of medical devices routinely implanted in people's bodies, ranging from screws and plates to artificial knees and hips.

"There is no system for being informed of what the problems are with the products you have in your body. Even your physician may not know," said Terry Fadem, president of the Biomedical Research and Education Foundation in Philadelphia.

Doctors later realized that that several batches of the same hip system - though not the one in Stone's body - had been recalled eight months earlier because of similar reports of breakage.

US has no good system to track medical implants

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